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First Daughter Reviews

Action-movie sausage, efficiently ground out and laced with filler in the form of repetitive chase scenes and extraneous, back-burner motivations. Thanks to its TV movie origins, this lukewarm thriller reaches mini-climaxes at regular, commercial-break friendly intervals. Secret Service agent Alex McGregor (Mariel Hemingway) sidesteps protocol to save the President Jonathan Hayes (Gregory Harrison) from an assassination attempt on. Despite Alex's resourcefulness, her boss reassigns her to the president's teenaged daughter, Jess (Monica Keena), who mistakenly believes that Alex has romantic designs on her father. To placate Jess, Alex and her fellow agents accompany her on a Colorado wilderness excursion. But a terrorist trio spots the happy campers, mows down Alex's associates and kidnaps Jess. Luckily, Alex is able to convince her outward-bound guide, Grant Carlson (Doug Savant), to replace his hiking boots with secret-service shoes. The extremists want to exchange Jess for a jailed colleague, but once the paramilitary ruffians realize that Uncle Sam is planning to trade them an impostor Alex is on her own — if she fails, the first daughter is doomed. It's hard to get deeply involved in an adventure whose outcome is apparent from the first scene — in the boxed-in universe of formulaic TV movies, redemption inevitably awaits an outside-the-box thinker like Alex. More energy is poured into the stunts than the broad-stroke relationships: It's as clear that spoiled brat Jess will realize Alex isn't an Oval Office golddigger as it is that Alex and Grant's verbal sparring masks a burgeoning romantic attraction. Unlike its risk-taking heroine, this unsurprising, escapist time waster sticks to the rules.